Business Topics

May 20, 2015

Saudi Arabia seeks Japanese investment in railways, energy

The head of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority wants potential investors such as Japanese railway companies to pitch into projects in his country, saying he believes overall Japanese investment can surge in the next few years. “On the optimistic side, I think we ...

May 19, 2015

Household savings hit record high in 2014

The average savings of households in 2014 rose 3.4 percent to ¥17.98 million, marking the highest level since officials began compiling comparable data in 2002, the internal affairs ministry said. The savings of households with at least two members grew for the second straight ...

May 19, 2015

Strike TPP deal as soon as possible, former U.S trade rep says

The Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations are important for both the United States and Japan, and an early conclusion is desirable for the 12-country talks, former U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor said in a recent interview. “It is in both countries’ interest that the ...

May 19, 2015

Real wages fell 3% in fiscal 2014; largest drop on record

Japan’s average monthly real wage plunged 3.0 percent in fiscal 2014, marking the largest fall on record and the fourth year of decline, as last year’s consumption tax hike took its toll, the labor ministry said Tuesday. However, in nominal terms the average monthly ...

May 18, 2015

March machinery orders rise in Japan, but firms remain cautious

The nation’s core private-sector machinery orders rose a seasonally adjusted 2.9 percent in March from the previous month, the government said Monday, reflecting a moderate recovery in corporate investment, though the outlook suggests companies remain cautious about spending. The private-sector orders in March, excluding ...

May 15, 2015

April wholesale prices fall 2.2% on year

Wholesale prices, excluding the impact of last year’s consumption tax hike, fell 2.2 percent in April from a year earlier for the six straight month of decline, the Bank of Japan said Friday, weighed down by the effects of a plunge in crude oil ...

May 15, 2015

Diet OKs trade agreement with Mongolia

The Diet approved an economic partnership agreement with Mongolia on Friday. The Upper House passed the bilateral free trade pact by a majority vote at a plenary session. The Lower House has already approved the pact. The government will draw up relevant ordinances needed ...

Trade deal helps boost sales of Aussie beef in Japan

May 13, 2015

Trade deal helps boost sales of Aussie beef in Japan

by Aya Takada

Australia is set to strengthen its dominance over the U.S. as Japan’s biggest beef supplier as a trade deal drives shipments toward a four-year high. Imports of Australian chilled beef rose 8 percent last quarter and may reach the highest since 2011 while shipments ...

May 12, 2015

Kepco to raise household electricity rate by 8.36%

Kansai Electric Power Co. will raise the amount it charges households for electricity by an average of 8.36 percent starting June 1, industry minister Yoichi Miyazawa said Tuesday. Higher imported fossil fuel costs are weighing on the firm’s earnings in the absence of nuclear ...

Senate trade vote looms, but won't settle trade debate

| May 12, 2015

Senate trade vote looms, but won't settle trade debate

A much-anticipated Senate vote on trade will pack some suspense Tuesday, but it won’t be the final word, no matter how it turns out. Supporters of President Barack Obama’s trade agenda need 60 votes in the 100-member Senate merely to start a full-blown debate ...